Thursday, November 15, 2012

From champs to fighting chimps...

DEFENDING champions Malaysia were handed a humiliating 2-0 defeat by Pakistan which might just see them playing in the fifth-sixth bracket of the Sultan of Johor Cup.
  There was total collapse in discipline and also the basics went out the window as Malaysia struggled to find their form.
  Malaysia were guilty of trying too hard, and in the process, making too many simple mistakes which Pakistan took full advantage to make lightning counters.
  The 5,000-odd crowd were elated when Malaysia won their first penalty corner in the ninth minute only to see skipper Noor Faeez Ibrahim balloon it over the top.
  Pakistan waited patiently in numbers at their own half and in the 20th minute, when Malaysia were in full attack, an overhead flick was sent to an unmarked Dilber Muhammad.
  And Dilber raced alone and beat goalkeeper Hafizuddin Otham for the lead.
  Rashid Baharom had the best chance in the 25th minute to equalise for Malaysia, but even the crowd was amazed on how he hit it wide instead of between the posts for Pakistan to enter the dressing room with a slim lead.
  For the record, Malaysia had beaten Pakistan 2-1 in the last Sultan of Johor Cup, and then 2-1 again in the final of the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca.
  But this time, Pakistan were well prepared for Malaysia as four minutes into the second half, another overhead counter found Dilber who set up the ball for Irfan Muhammad to score their second goal.
   The misery continued in the 44th minute when Syamim Yusof was green carded folowwed by a yellow card to Dedy Aryadi.
   And in the 50th minute there was almost a free-for-all when Suleman Muhammad hit Imran Nazli but the situation was brought under control and Suleman was flashed the yellow.
  After that, there were more skirmishes than hockey played, and it placed the Malaysian side under a bad spotlight as they trooped out in disgrace.
  RESULTS: Australia 0 Germany 2, New Zealand 1 India 3, Malaysia 2 Pakistan 0.
   SATURDAY: Germany v Pakistan (4pm), India v Malaysia (6pm), New Zealand v Australia (8pm).


              P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA         4  3  1  0  8  2  10
GERMANY       4  2  0  2  10 7  6
AUSTRALIA     4  2  0  2  8  7  6
PAKISTAN      4  1  2  1  6  8  5
N ZEALAND     4  1  1  2  10 13 4
MALAYSIA      4  1  0  3  7  12 3

India in the final...

INDIA qualified for the Sultan Johor Cup final when they beat New Zealand 3-1 at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
 The win gave them 10 points with one match in hand against Malaysia on Saturday.
  The India goals were scored by Mandeep Singh (18th), Harjeet Singh (27th) and Manpreet Singh (34th).

  The New Zealand goal was scored by Benedict van Woerkom in the 47th minute.
  "It is very satisfying to be in the final with one match in hand, and even though we are in the final, we will still go all out in the match against Malaysia because this is a junior tournament and all my players are of the same standard and so I will not be resting any player," said India coach Baljeet Singh.
  Meanwhile, world champions Germany placed themselves back in contention for a place in the final after they beat Australia 2-0.
   The win gave them six points, as they had beaten New Zealand 5-1 on Wednesday.
  The Germans bounced back after losing their first two matches against Malaysia (3-2) and India (3-1).
  As for Australia, they will now have to defeat New Zealand in their final match to stand a chance as goal difference could well determine the finalists.
  The German goals were scored by Dieter Linnekogel in the 13th minute and Florian Adrians in the 51st minute.
  German coach Jamilon Muelders said their two defeats to Asian sides is a worrying factor.
  "We lost to Asian sides as we could not adapt to their style of play so this tournament is invaluable in our preparations for the Junior World Cup next year.
  "Both our wins have been against Oceania sides, and now we will have to beat another Asian side (Pakistan) to have a chance of playing in the final," said Muelders.
  RESULTS: Australia 0 Germany 2, New Zealand 1 India 3, Malaysia 0 Pakistan 2.
   SATURDAY: Germany v Pakistan (4pm), India v Malaysia (6pm), New Zealand v Australia (8pm).